English Literature

Literature and Modernity: 1900 to the present

This taught Masters programme considers the ways literature since 1900 has sought to change and ‘modernise’ itself, in the context of wider developments of modernity characterising the age.


Why did Ezra Pound think it essential to ‘make it new’, or Rimbaud to be ‘absolument moderne’? Why did Virginia Woolf insist, in her essay ‘Modern Fiction’, that ‘the proper stuff of fiction’ should be ‘other than custom would have us believe it’?

Aims and outcomes

The aim of the programme is to analyse the most challenging and exciting literature written in English since 1900, asking and answering questions about how and why it took the forms it did.

Programme details

You will take the core course, the Research Methods course plus an option in each semester. The dissertation will be researched and written over the summer.

Teaching and assessment

A description of the Teaching on this programme.


Edinburgh is uniquely suited as a place in which to study the relation of literature to modernity.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees and funding opportunities for Literature and Modernity: 1900 to the present.

Contact details

If you have any queries regarding this programme please contact the Programme Director

Entry requirements and apply online

You can apply online for this MSc programme.

Entry requirements and apply online

Help us shape two exciting new programmes!

We would like to hear your views on two potential new taught on-campus masters programmes:

  • Intermediality (literature, film and the other arts) in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
  • Literature and Religions in the School of Divinity

Our surveys take around five (5) minutes each to complete and your feedback will help shape the content and structure of the new programme(s). There is also the opportunity to leave your contact details so that we can keep you up to date on any developments.

Related links

Postgraduate study in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures